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New Delhi: More than 78,000 people waved the national flag at the same time at an event attended by Home Minister Amit Shah in Jagdishpur in Bihar in a bid to break a previous 18-year-old world record of people waving a National flag established in Pakistan.Read also – Weird! A conductor stops a train halfway to sip tea in Bihar’s Siwan, leaving passengers surprised

On the 164th anniversary of the death of Veer Kunwar Singh, then ruler of Jagdishpur, one of the heroes of the 1857 revolt against the British. The event was held as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, the 75th anniversary of India’s independence.

Amit Shah was joined by top Bihar BJP leaders including Union Ministers RK Singh and Nityanand Rai, Deputy Chief Ministers Tarkishor Prasad and Renu Devi and their predecessor Sushil Kumar Modi in waving the tricolor during five full minutes, to an instrumental rendition of the national song ‘Vande Mataram’.

Participants wore bands for physical identification and a camera trap was set up, with the Guinness Book of World Records overseeing the verification of records. The crowd cheered as the gigantic screen set up at the venue brought the number of flag bearers to 77,700.

The previous world record was set by 56,000 Pakistanis who waved their national flag at a reception in Lahore in 2004.

Shah, whose role in achieving “complete national integration through the removal of Article 370” has been hailed speaker after speaker, himself spoke for less than 30 minutes.

The former BJP leader told the rally that reminding the younger generation of the sacrifices made by freedom fighters was a key part of “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He also recalled the role of RSS ideologue VD Savarkar in highlighting the contributions of people like Veer Kunwar Singh. Savarkar had called the 1857 revolt “India’s first war of independence” and was the author of a book of the same name.

Considered the party’s best strategist, Shah also recalled the role played by the BJP, alongside Chief Minister Nitish Kumar by whom he was received at Patna airport, in ridding Bihar of the “jungle raj”.

In a veiled search of RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Shah remarked, “Just walking around without Lalu Prasad’s posters cannot erase the memories of the jungle raj.”

Shah, who is due to conclude his Bihar tour by attending the convocation ceremony of a private university set up by BJP leader Gopal Narayan Singh, also referred to the social welfare measures taken by the Narendra Modi government, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Modi had set himself the goal of making India number one in the world by 2047, when the nation celebrates the centenary of its independence.

He had effusive words of praise for the people who came in large numbers despite “such hot weather”.

It was notably Shah’s first visit to the state in more than two years. His last tour of Bihar was in January 2020 when he addressed a rally in Vaishali district in the aftermath of the CAA-NPR-NRC controversy.

(With PTI entries)